Sunday, July 14, 2013

Day 51, Saturday, 13 July, Richmond to Yorktown

Here is a quick summary: unloaded, paceline, fast. Katie, one of my daughters, and Ken joined us for the last leg of our tour. I spend most of the day tucked in behind them in a paceline on Route 5. Katie is a monster and can pull @ 18-19 mph for a long time. The speed and familiarity of terrain limited the number of pictures a could or wanted to take. I recognize that we have some pretty scenery near Richmond.

We ended with lunch in Yorktown. Lisa drove down to pick us up and my Mom and Marge, one of my sisters, drove up to meet us. Marge made a sign to signal our success.

We rode 76.5 miles at an average speed of 15.4 mph. My maximum speed was 27.5 mph.

Katie, Edward, Louis, and Ken

Day 50, Friday, 12 July, Culpeper to Richmond

Two friends from Richmond, Mary Lou and Ken, joined us for the penultimate day of riding.  We were in the Piedmont and the terrain was fairly flat and got flatter as we progressed. The scenery was nice but familiar. That, coupled with rain and a quick pace, limited the pictures I took. We rode 94.3 miles at an average speed of 14.7 mph.

Lisa w Mary Lou in the background
Ken, Louis, Mary Lou, and I
Hay in VA
We joined I-76, the route taken for the 1976 bicentennial celebration.

Day 49, Thursday, 11 July, Capon Springs, WV to Culpeper, VA

Today's ride was another lovely day of mostly country roads, with the added bonus that we left the mountains and entered the Piedmont. We still had plenty of hills, but their intensity decreased throughout the day. We started with a nice climb on gravel over our last "ridge". A long decent on gravel and then pavement followed by "rollers" came next. We treated ourselves to a 2nd breakfast after 20 miles and were glad we ate the 1st to help us climb early. Western VA is beautiful.

A highlight was meeting my wife, Lisa, and two Richmond friends, Mary Lou and Ken, at Culpeper. Mary Lou and Ken plan to ride with us to Richmond and Ken plans to continue with us to Yorktown.

We rode 70.82 miles at an average speed of 12.4 mph. My maximum speed was 38.9 mph.

What we climbed after 1st breakfast.
Beginning our descent
What lay ahead
Looking back into WV
VA countryside

We crossed the AT

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Day 48, Wednesday, 10 July, Cumberland, MD to Capon Springs, WV

Today's ride was mostly country roads in the hills of WV. The first 20 miles was on WV 28, which was decent and better than the description a fellow at a bike store in Cumberland gave. The remaining miles were mostly winding back roads with wonderful views. The disadvantage is that we climbed and descended repeatedly. Louis thought that today's ride was harder than Teton Pass. We escaped getting caught in a thunderstorm when an anonymous woman let us store our bikes in her greenhouse and sit in her shed.

We rode 66.55 miles at an average speed of 11.1mph. My maximum speed was 35.4.

We cross the C&O Canal Towpath
The Potomac 
The tag line is perfect
What lies ahead
Pretty views from a bridge

Our benefactor
Coming up a hill
The wood along the road
Preparing to descend 
The countryside

We rode beside the Cacapon River
More countryside
An old bridge, circa 1887
An octagonal house

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Day 47, Tuesday, 9 July, Confluence, PA to Cumberland, MD

Today was the second and last day of riding on the GAP. The first 38 miles were uphill at a 1.5% grade and the last 22 miles were downhill at a -1.75% grade. The end of the ride always better than the beginning; our average speed increased from around 12 mph to approximately 19 mph. The trial is beautiful and lush. We rode over several bridges and through a few tunnels. Judy Pletcher gave us a tour of an old mill in Rockwood that she bought and renovated. Now it contains shops and an Opera House. To learn more visit The only distraction was the weather- an intermittent mix of clouds, rain, mist, and brief periods of sunshine. 

We rode 67.31 miles at an average speed of 12.4 mph. My maximum speed was 22.7 mph. Our maximum elevation was 2,392 ft.

The view from camp in the misty morning
View from a bridge

Part of the trail

Old lettering with no h in Pittsburgh 
The ballroom at the mill. It hosts dinner theater and other events.
More views from bridges and the trail
A windmill

An early and rare iron bridge, built in 1887 and moved to its current location to serve the GAP
Another windmill

We reach the Eastern Continental Divide

A tunnel built in 1911 or 1901

We cross the Mason-Dixon Line into MD

The path into Cumberland runs beside an active RR line
Coming into Cumberland
Lovers Leap

End to the GAP, beginning of the Towpath. I left my wallet and iPad on the corner of a fence between the center and the courtyard for over an hour. 
Mural at the visitors' center
Signage on a wall
A marker in the pavement